Tokyo is the creative head behind the Tokyo James brand and has worked hard to become a force to reckon with in the creative and media industry. In this brief interview, he gives us an insight into the life of Tokyo James.
Hello Tokyo, introduce yourself.
Tokyo James is a British Nigerian menswear designer and Creative Director. I am also the Editor-in-Chief of Made Magazine and Creative Director for Access Bank’s online TV platform Accelerate TV. Whilst studying Mathematics at Queen Mary University London, I began my creative career as a young fashion stylist in London, working for various international publications, as well as directing digital campaigns for brands such as Brioni, Issey Miyake and Puma Black Label. I moved on to launch my digital monthly publication, Rough UK which expanded to Rough Italia and Rough New York after its successful run in the UK. The Tokyo James fashion brand was born in Lagos, Nigeria when I relocated and the brand is affiliated with modern men who want simplicity with an edge.
You started out in media and have ventured into fashion, what prompted this move?
It was more like I was going to end up in fashion. I started my own line because it was the initial thing I wanted to do but I lacked the confidence in the beginning to be a fashion designer. After 15 years in the business I believed it was time for me to start.
Kindly take us through your creative process as a designer.
My work is very politically motivated and influenced by world affairs.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
I do not think I have had a highlight as I believe my highlight is yet to come.
What inspires your pieces?
Family and friends.
List 5 things we would always find in your wardrobe.
Leather jacket, white t shirt, a pair of black pants, Terre d’Hermes Eau Tres Fraiche by Hermes and always a pair of Nike sneakers.
What is your take on the Nigerian fashion industry?
It is still a baby that needs guidance from people who have the experience in the field.
What is the future for the Tokyo James brand?
A store in every country on the continent.
Words of advice to young and aspiring designers?
Create your own reality, be very pragmatic and do not believe in the hype.